Memorial For Superstar Musician Juan Gabriel To Be Held Tuesday In Monterey Park
Thousands gathered in Juárez Saturday to say goodbye to iconic Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel outside his home in Mexico. Now, Angelenos will have their chance to say goodbye to the “Amor Eterno” at a memorial service in Monterey Park this Tuesday. Gabriel, whose real name was Alberto Aquilera Valadez, died of a heart attack at his Santa Monica home on August 27, just three days after performing a two-hour set at the Los Angeles Forum. The Latin megastar was was 66.
After getting his start in the rough nightclubs of Juárez playing under the name Adam Luna, Gabriel moved to Mexico city and took on the moniker Juan Gabriel—"a combination of his father's name with that of a schoolteacher who had befriended and mentored him in his youth," according to the book Songs of Juan Gabriel. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. The six-time Grammy nominee's fame transcended borders, with fans across the world, as The New York Times described in a story two days after Gabriel's death:
It is difficult to overstate the popularity in Mexico of Juan Gabriel, whose music tapped a deeply sentimental vein in Mexican culture. His appeal transcended regional, racial and class boundaries in an otherwise stratified and fractured society. His music was played at children’s birthday parties and the wedding anniversaries of retirees. It provided the soundtrack for joyous occasions and, just as much, for heartbreak.
The Catholic service will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. Stephen Martyr Catholic Church, (320 W. Garvey Avenue) in Monterey Park.
"He told me, Alberto Aguilera will die, but Juan Gabriel will live on forever," Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte told the Dallas News last week.